Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Saturday called for unity and political cohesion among Anioma people in the state in honour of the late Senator Nosike Ikpo.
He stated this at the funeral of the late Ikpo, who died at age 92, in his Ibusa community in Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta.
He said that the late sage, a political father of all Anioma people, sowed the seed of emancipation of the people and was firmly committed to promoting peace and political advancement of the people.
The governor said that the former senator made remarkable contributions to the development of Delta North, adding that he also played a notable role in stabilising the polity in the defunct Midwest Region and Bendel State.
According to Okowa, Ikpo was a lover of Anioma people and a strong voice that made the people realised that they could struggle among the committee of communities and ethnic nationalities to become what they can be.
He added that the late nonagenarian was a formidable voice on the necessity for people of Delta North to come together, saying; “today, we are glad that people are beginning to realise that we have to stay together”.
While saying that Nosike Ikpo’s love for the people of Anioma was unquantifiable, the governor called on Delta North people and the people of Delta as a whole to emulate his virtues of peace-building and selfless service to humanity.
“Nosike Ikpo was a man full of wisdom. Even when he didn’t have the opportunity of formal education at the beginning of his life, he struggled through life and was able to help himself by God’s grace, and rose to the pinnacle of a legislative career.
“Starting from the grassroots as a councillor and ending up in the Senate is no mean feat.
“It is a huge achievement made possible by God obviously because the man was resilient and committed to that which he believed in.
“We must forever remember him because if people like him did not start that foundation, I am wondering what some of us would have been able to build on.
“He was a formidable voice on the necessity for our people to come together. Today, we are glad that people are beginning to realise that we have to stay together.
“He was a man that built bridges. As people of Anioma, as people of Delta North, we must realise that the more we stay together, the better for us so that the foundations that some of these our forefathers made for us, we do not use our own hands to destroy them.
“We need to continue to speak about him. He was a strong voice; even in death, he still remains a strong voice.
“He (Ikpo) was a man we need to emulate and these are the kind of men that can enable us to build a stronger community for ourselves,” the governor said.
Earlier, one of the children of the late nonagenarian, Mrs Obiageli Nnamani, while welcoming the governor to the ceremony, thanked him for identifying with the family in its moment of grief.
Nnamani said that she and her siblings were greatly humbled by the governor’s show of love towards the Nosike Ikpo family before and during the period of their grief.
In their separate remarks, Hon. Pat Ajudua and Chief Austin Izagbo described the late Ikpo as a great political icon, scholar and a great writer as well as a man of extreme intelligence and a leader par excellence, who would be greatly missed for his political tutelage.